Visiting Caramoan would mean taking more than a two-hour boat ride from Sabang pier to Guijalo port. Then you take the less than ten-minute ride from Guijalo to the town proper. After which you take another fifteen-minute road trip from the town proper to Paniman. The road can be muddy during the rainy season but this should be endured as this is one of the jump-off sites for island hopping. If you opt to take the bus from Manila to Naga, you have to endure the butt and neck numbing road trip for seven hours.
Even if travelers have to go through this excruciating and all-day ride in getting to Caramoan, they seem to enjoy the trip given the fact that numerous tourists have already visited the peninsula. It has gained its popularity when it was chosen to be the location for the international Survivor franchise.
Listed below are five reasons why you will love Caramoan:
- It provides unparalleled opportunities for coastal exploration. Whether you visit the nearest islands or the ones farthest from Paniman, you will find out that every island is a perfect spot for endless adventures outdoors. Although island hopping is a big drawcard, travelers will have the chance to experience Caramoan through camping, snorkeling, mountain biking, spelunking, rock climbing and trekking.
- No island is similar to the other. Every island situated in the peninsula is different from the others. For example, Matukad which has a postcard-perfect view is a 125-meter stretch of pristine powdery white sand walled with jagged limestone cliffs. It comprises of a lagoon located between the lush tropical forest of the island and the limestone formations. On the other hand, Lahos Island has sugar-like powdery sand. Its shoreline is situated between two beaches and two identical giant rocks. Since the island disappears during high tide, the word ‘laho’ become its name. Lantangan beach on Pitogo bay is interesting because of its pebbled covered shoreline. Thus, Caramoan islands are not just all about fine white sand.
- Some of the islands can be enjoyed all to yourselves. This is especially true to islands which are found farthest from Paniman. If you do not wish to travel that far and spend more on boat rentals, you can always visit the Tinago beach. In Bicol dialect, the root word tago would mean hide. Tinago beach or lagoon is surrounded by imposing rock formations filled with lush green vegetation. It may be difficult to pass through the entrance of the lagoon when the current is strong.
- Visit an Underwater Garden. Tayak lagoon located in Malarad island consists of a vast coral garden in which the corals are similar to the coral garden in Coron, Palawan. The extensive coral formation is spread just several feet from the surface of the water. So, this is ideal for snorkeling. But you have to swim underneath the rocks located at the side of the beach to get through the lagoon.
- Caramoan offers a few of the “best mountain-meet-the-sea vistas”. The mountains of Caramoan have unique shapes. Some are similar to the rolling hills in Batanes or the green, lush meadows found in Palaui Island. These sights together with the scenic and several irregularly shaped limestone karsts make the trip from one island to another less tiring.
Caramoan is known to be the best kept paradise in Bicol. Though there have been man-made changes in several islands, the natural wonders of the island remain unexploited.